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Abstract:
The Universidad Privada Boliviana (UPB), the Private University of Bolivia, was founded in 1993. Not long after, in the late 1990s, civil unrest erupted with coca growers battling police in the streets outside the campus. Students and faculty fled, the prior President retired, and UPB was functionally insolvent. Manuel Olave was hired as Rector (President) in 1999 to salvage the struggling school. Charged with turning around the struggling university, Olave realized that head-on competition would not help UPB thrive. Instead of benchmarking against leading universities, Olave formed a team to explore growth opportunities, using blue ocean methodologies like the Buyer Utility Map, Strategy Canvas, and ERRC Grid. Based on insights from the blue ocean shift process, UPB made a series of strategic moves to capture untapped demand for higher education that was more affordable and of higher value for students. Two decades later, UPB is ranked the best private university in Bolivia, enrollment is at capacity, and the school is planning a third campus.

Pedagogical Objectives:
• To explore a real world example of how a struggling education institution can turn around based on the blue ocean shift process. • To learn how a noncustomer analysis can help an organization uncover hidden pain points and create new demand. • To understand how a blue ocean leader can galvanize support and build confidence through the blue ocean shift process.

Keywords:
Education, University, Business School, Blue Ocean Strategy, Blue Ocean Shift, Value Innovation, Turnaround, Bolivia, Universidad Privada Boliviana, Upb Bolivia, Evo Morales, Santa Cruz De La Sierra, Latin America, Non Profit

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published: 29 Oct 2018

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
K-pop is thriving for industry veterans and entrepreneurs alike, but is a complex industry. This case is about launching a disruptive media brand that helps artists secure lucrative sponsorships and partnerships through strategic integration and content marketing. How should a start-up in the K-pop industry strategize to cater to A-listers and/or the under-served part of the market? Is catering purely to the under-served market a better strategy? While disrupting the existing business model and trying to create a two-sided marketplace, how important is communication and research in the K-pop industry?

Pedagogical Objectives:
- Teaching and applying concepts related to entrepreneurship and new business ventures, using the K-pop industry seen through an insider’s lens (Ian). - Understanding that a new business venture cannot thrive when solely based on relationships established in the past, or by virtue of having worked in the same industry before. - The importance of thorough research before starting a venture and validating the business model, which is critical to making or breaking a new business. In an entrepreneurial course, the case covers the following broad themes, with the K-pop industry as the backdrop: 1. Researching how an industry is set up, the business flow, who does what, who has what, and who plays what role at which point of decision-making. 2. The opportunities and limitations of influencer marketing. 3. The critical need (notwithstanding the ubiquity of ‘disruption’) for careful analysis and planning for new business ventures, whatever the industry.

Keywords:
Social Media, Music, Advertising, Entrepreneurial Ventures, Entrepreneurship, Start-Ups, Startup, Social Media, Markets

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Abstract:
The Universidad Privada Boliviana (UPB), the Private University of Bolivia, was founded in 1993. Not long after, in the late 1990s, civil unrest erupted with coca growers battling police in the streets outside the campus. Students and faculty fled, the prior President retired, and UPB was functionally insolvent. Manuel Olave was hired as Rector (President) in 1999 to salvage the struggling school. Charged with turning around the struggling university, Olave realized that head-on competition would not help UPB thrive. Instead of benchmarking against leading universities, Olave formed a team to explore growth opportunities, using blue ocean methodologies like the Buyer Utility Map, Strategy Canvas, and ERRC Grid. Based on insights from the blue ocean shift process, UPB made a series of strategic moves to capture untapped demand for higher education that was more affordable and of higher value for students. Two decades later, UPB is ranked the best private university in Bolivia, enrollment is at capacity, and the school is planning a third campus.

Pedagogical Objectives:
• To explore a real world example of how a struggling education institution can turn around based on the blue ocean shift process. • To learn how a noncustomer analysis can help an organization uncover hidden pain points and create new demand. • To understand how a blue ocean leader can galvanize support and build confidence through the blue ocean shift process.

Keywords:
Education, University, Business School, Blue Ocean Strategy, Blue Ocean Shift, Value Innovation, Turnaround, Bolivia, Universidad Privada Boliviana, Upb Bolivia, Evo Morales, Santa Cruz De La Sierra, Latin America, Non Profit

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published: 25 Mar 2019

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case illustrates how Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, used a social networking based tool (blueKiwi) to replace email in its internal communications. The key to its successful deployment was the creation of professional communities (analogous to groups in Facebook) around specific issues. While the company was not able to rid itself of email completely, it did achieve increased efficiency in internal information sharing.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case illustrates key concepts from “The Social Organization: How to Use Social Media to Tap the Collective Genius of your Customers and Employees” by Anthony J. Bradley and Mark P. McDonald. For social-media-based tools to be successfully deployed, firms should: • Define how the community collaboration experience should function, with a clear statement of purpose as a starting point. • Develop a “tipping point” plan, i.e. a strategy to spread awareness; aim for “viral expansion” (voluntary participation rather than top-down) to reach a sustainable community that should be guided and monitored, but not too closely. • Develop a suitable environment in which the community can congregate and collaborate (social media software, appropriate user experience, etc). Case (A) looks at problems associated with email as a communications medium and describes how blueKiwi, a social media type platform, allows people to communicate within communities around specific issues. Case (B) describes the outcomes, including measures used by Atos to evaluate the health of communities. BlueKiwi did allow the company to become more agile and built the foundation for work based on self-organizing teams.

Keywords:
Organizational Change, Social Media, Social Media Communities, Information Technology Company, Consulting, Agility

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published: 25 Mar 2019

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case illustrates how Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, used a social networking based tool (blueKiwi) to replace email in its internal communications. The key to its successful deployment was the creation of professional communities (analogous to groups in Facebook) around specific issues. While the company was not able to rid itself of email completely, it did achieve increased efficiency in internal information sharing.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case illustrates key concepts from “The Social Organization: How to Use Social Media to Tap the Collective Genius of your Customers and Employees” by Anthony J. Bradley and Mark P. McDonald. For social-media-based tools to be successfully deployed, firms should: • Define how the community collaboration experience should function, with a clear statement of purpose as a starting point. • Develop a “tipping point” plan, i.e. a strategy to spread awareness; aim for “viral expansion” (voluntary participation rather than top-down) to reach a sustainable community that should be guided and monitored, but not too closely. • Develop a suitable environment in which the community can congregate and collaborate (social media software, appropriate user experience, etc). Case (A) looks at problems associated with email as a communications medium and describes how blueKiwi, a social media type platform, allows people to communicate within communities around specific issues. Case (B) describes the outcomes, including measures used by Atos to evaluate the health of communities. BlueKiwi did allow the company to become more agile and built the foundation for work based on self-organizing teams.

Keywords:
Organizational Change, Social Media, Social Media Communities, Information Technology Company, Consulting, Agility

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published: 02 May 2019

  • Topic: Economics & Finance
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case covers events leading to the hostile bid for AkzoNobel by PPG in 2017, the market response that it prompted, and AkzoNobel’s takeover defenses including the divestment of a business area and large cash payout. Various scenarios (as a standalone, after divestiture and after a takeover with synergies) are considered for the valuation of AkzoNobel, as is the rationale behind the various takeover bids by PPG. The role of activists in triggering the takeover process is highlighted. Alternative payout mechanisms (capital repayment, dividend payment, share buyback) are discussed.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Students learn how to value companies under different scenarios (as a standalone, after a divestiture and after a takeover with synergies) and to interpret market responses to various corporate actions. The case illustrates various takeover defenses, the role of activists, and the dilemma of making a hostile bid in countries where “maximizing stakeholder value” is the cornerstone of governance. It provides the opportunity to discuss different payout mechanisms: dividends vs share buyback, and the less common “capital repayment”.

Keywords:
Takeovers, Hostile Bids, Takeover Defenses, Company Valuation, Activists, Payout Policy, Stakeholder Value Versus Shareholder Value, Akzonobel, Ppg

published: 29 Oct 2018

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Abstract:
When Alibaba, China’s leading digital platform and cloud-based services company, fails to acquire the US firm Moneygram, CEO Jack Ma decides to go it alone and develop a digital strategy using blockchain technology as the basis for a global remittance service, GCash, within its cloud services business. Alibaba’s financial services affiliate Ant Financial, begins by targeting cross-border money transfers made by domestic workers in Hong Kong who routinely send money to their families in the Philippines. It subsequently forms a strategic alliance with Globe Telecom and Standard Chartered Bank which provide market access and financial intermediation. The case focuses on the value proposition of blockchain in cross-border financial services, particularly in Southeast Asia, and how it fits into Alibaba's "iron triangle" cloud services strategy in the region where there is fierce competition from Google and Digital Ocean. Blockchain technology is utilized to disintermediate the US-based SWIFT system and the dominant remittance service providers, Moneygram and Western Union, that charge high fees. As an illustration of how to launch proprietary cypto- and blockchain-based networks, the case explains how they differ from digital platforms, and how they are complementary, such as network effects and synergies with Alibaba’s installed customer base.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case study incorporates important lessons in digital entrepreneurship, digital strategy, blockchain, cloud and web services, fintech, network effects, and diversification across technology platforms.

Keywords:
Digital Entrepreneurship, Blockchain, Cloud, Cloud Service, Fintech, Remittances, Network Effects, Crypto, Alibaba, Web Services, Fintech, Southeast Asia, China, Hong Kong, Philippines, Digital Strategy, Digital Platform, Platforms

published: 30 Nov 2018

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
Charity fundraising in the UK was a deep red ocean when Comic Relief started. Costs were up and donations were down. To stand out from the crowd, organizations had to work harder at fundraising and marketing. Yet Comic Relief rapidly achieved 96 percent national brand awareness and has now raised over £1 billion without spending anything on marketing. Its flagship event, held once every two years, is almost a national holiday in the UK. The case reveals how Comic Relief redefined the problem of the charity-giving industry - from how to get the wealthy to give out of guilt, to how to get everyone ‘to do something funny for money’ – thus reconstructing the market boundaries. It understood how to create new demand by looking to nondonors and what turned them off (the blocks to giving). In so doing, it erected formidable barriers to imitation – cognitive, organisational, economic and legal. Its enduring success relies on the alignment of its value, profit and people propositions. It can be used to teach the following Blue Ocean concepts: (1) the Buyer Utility Map; (2) the Three Tiers of Noncustomers; (3) Barriers to Imitation; and (4) Disruptive versus nondisruptive creation.

Pedagogical Objectives:
• The central importance of noncustomers as a way to gain insights into how to create new demand and generate new growth. Instead of fighting for a greater percentage of existing donors, Comic Relief looked to noncustomers and what turned them off charitable giving, uncovering the major pain points imposed by the industry. This gave critical insight into how to open up new market space - a blue ocean of noncustomers • Barriers to imitation Barriers to imitation effectively prolong the sustainability of a blue ocean strategy, in this case the alignment of value, profit and people propositions, and cognitive, organizational, brand, economic and legal barriers – keeping challengers for many years. • Market creating-strategies are not synonymous with disruptive creation. Rather than replacing an earlier technology or existing product or service, Blue Ocean Shift | Strategy goes beyond disruption to embrace what Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne call “nondisruptive creation” of a new market and with it new growth. While Comic Relief triggered a measure of disruption, it principally unlocked nondisruptive creation, where its gain didn’t come at the expense of others.

Keywords:
Social Services, Blue Ocean Strategy, Nonprofit Organization, Disruptive Creation, Nondisruptive Creation, Barriers to Imitation, Noncustomers, Market Creating Strategy, Charity, Blue Ocean Shift, Charity Fundraising

published: 31 Aug 2018

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Aircraft Leasing
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case describes the meteoric rise of Avolon in the aircraft leasing industry – from a private-equity-backed start-up to IPO and M&A activity, resulting in a top three industry position only seven years after its foundation. It is the first to offer an overview of the history of the aircraft leasing industry, from its largely Irish roots to a global phenomenon that has secured major Asian investment. It follows the career highs and lows of a daring entrepreneur who overcomes multiple obstacles to ultimately build a global player from scratch. Throughout the different phases of Avolon’s strategic growth, it highlights the power of embedding corporate values that fuel the company culture and its competitiveness.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case has the potential to bring together a range of topics – from strategy, general management and entrepreneurship. As such it can be used in MBA and executive education classes, for introductory, industry analysis or final capstone purposes. It can also serve as an introduction to the aircraft leasing industry.

Keywords:
Industry Analysis, Entrepreneurship, Growth Strategy, Mergers and Acquisitions, Private Equity, Strategy Process, Strategy Execution, Agility, Founder’s Mentality, Corporate Culture, Euro-Asian Business Partnerships, Strategic Positioning

published: 26 Jul 2019

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Region: Africa

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Abstract:
This case puts participants in the shoes of the directors of Barry Callebaut (BC), a cocoa-sourcing and chocolate manufacturing company. Chairman Andreas Jacobs is passionate about cocoa sustainability in West Africa – ensuring the cocoa crop (endangered by poor farming and climate change) and the farmers who grow it will survive and thrive. However, in response to a falling share price, the BC board has shifted strategy to achieve cost leadership. Moreover, customers have been unwilling to pay a premium for sustainable cocoa beans. Given the scale of the problem, the company cannot ‘go it alone’. Nonetheless, when the CEO steps down in 2008, Jacobs sees an opportunity for BC to embrace sustainability and urges the board to go beyond goodwill gestures – like its earlier building of schools in Ivory Coast – and take “real action”. Should the board follow his lead? What would “real action” mean?

Pedagogical Objectives:
1. How business should be involved in sustainability and the challenges involved in taking real, impactful action (not simply paying lip-service). 2. Consider sustainability challenges in the context of business challenges – seen through the eyes of the board – and the role of the board in driving sustainability initiatives. 3. Evaluate the extent to which board members should follow the lead of a strong chairman pursuing a personal passion. 4. Identify solutions to the sustainability challenges faced by Barry Callebaut.

Keywords:
Sustainability, Corporate Governance, Boards, Cocoa, Chocolate, Supply Chains, Côte D’ivoire, Africa, Child Labour, Poverty

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